When a Man Loves a Woman (film)
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|When a Man Loves a Woman|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Luis Mandoki|
|Produced by||Jon Avnet|
|Written by||Ronald Bass,
|Music by||Zbigniew Preisner|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Release dates||April 29, 1994 (limited)
May 13, 1994 (USA)
|Running time||126 min.|
When a Man Loves a Woman is a 1994 American romantic drama film written by Al Franken and Ronald Bass, starring Andy García, Meg Ryan, Tina Majorino, Mae Whitman, Ellen Burstyn, Lauren Tom and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Meg Ryan plays Alice Green, a school counselor who has a serious drinking problem and is married to Michael (Andy Garcia), an airline pilot. Though she's lighthearted and loving, Alice is often reckless and, when drunk, even neglects her children, nine-year-old daughter Jess (Tina Majorino) from a previous marriage, and four-year-old daughter Casey (Mae Whitman), whose father is Michael.
One afternoon, Alice enters their home in a drunken incoherent state. She dismisses the reluctant caretaker, who leaves her alone with her children. Still drinking, Alice is confronted by her eldest daughter concerned for her mother's welfare. In return, she violently slaps Jess, who runs to her room crying. Alice enters the shower. Unable to control her balance and calling for Jess, she falls to the side and smashes through the shower door onto the bathroom floor. Fearing her mother has died, Jess contacts Michael who immediately flies home to be by his wife's side.
After the incident and while in the hospital, Michael and Alice confront the truth about Alice's drinking. They jointly decide she must seek professional help for her alcoholism. Upon release from the hospital, a timid Alice enters a rehabilitation clinic.
Michael finds himself now the main caretaker of their home and two children, a role he struggles to maintain along with his career as an airline pilot. Meanwhile, at the clinic, Alice is flourishing; her recovery is painful but stabilizing and she is well liked and respected by both staff and fellow clinic tenants alike. During a family visit day at the clinic, Alice immediately begins to rebuild her shattered bond with the children leaving Michael alone to wander the grounds uncomfortable and out of place in his wife's new lifestyle.
Alice returns home sober yet guarded. She is vocal, strong and changed. Michael is having trouble adjusting to Alice's balance. He has become used to being the stable and controlled factor in their relationship and is jealous of Alice's lack of dependence and outside friendships. Coming to terms with their estrangement, a reluctant Michael (believing therapy is for the weak) and a willing Alice see a marriage counselor who quickly establishes Michael's "co-dependency" on Alice's role as an alcoholic.
Unable to find a medium and with tempers flared, Michael moves out and Alice becomes the main caretaker of their home and children. Alice is once again seen flourishing in her new role while Michael is unable to find control and seeks out a support group for spouses of alcoholics. Initially shy, Michael becomes a more vocal member of the group and shares his sorrow over his lack of understanding for the gravity his wife's sobriety would have on him, his children and his marriage.
Alice and Michael singularly return to the hospital to celebrate the birth of their caretaker's baby. They spend time together and as they depart Alice asks Michael if he would attend her 180 day sober speech where she will acknowledge her failings and accomplishments. She also tells him that she has been thinking about asking him to come home with her. Michael tells Alice he has been offered a job in Denver. For the first time since they both agreed that Alice entered rehab, they both agree he should take the position.
The penultimate scene is Alice as she stands on a stage and tells her sobriety story; the toll it took on her, her children and her marriage. She is funny, confident, sad but optimistic. Her audience is moved to tears. Her speech ends and she is surrounded by well wishers. Out of the crowd appears Michael. At ease with himself and Alice, he explains what he missed along the way..."to listen, to really listen."
They share an intense, longing, passionate kiss as the credits roll.
- Andy García as Michael Green
- Meg Ryan as Alice Green
- Lauren Tom as Amy
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gary
- Tina Majorino as Jess Green
- Mae Whitman as Casey Green
- Ellen Burstyn as Emily
When a Man Loves a Woman currently holds a 70% fresh rating among critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
- When a Man Loves a Woman
- Crazy Love
- El Gusto
- Main Title
- Garbage Compulsion
- I Hit Her Hard
- Dressing Casey
- Michael Decides
- Alice & Michael
- Running From Mercy by Rickie Lee Jones
- I'm a Good Man by Robert Cray
- Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
- Stewart's Coat by Rickie Lee Jones
- http://www.sagawards.org/1_award_nom SAG Website
- "When A Man Loves A Woman Plot Summary and Details". http://www.moviefone.com/movie/when-a-man-loves-a-woman/8770/synopsis
- Fox, David J. (May 16, 1994). "The Crow' Takes Off at Box Office Movies: The opening is the biggest ever for Miramax. In second place is `When a Man Loves a Woman,' with `Crooklyn' third.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2010.